Govt. keen to triple rubber industry to $ 3 b

Lanka News Papers - 31/08/2014

Sri Lanka is on its way to making the rubber industry a $ 3 billion sector, Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen stated following the announcement that the 4th Global Rubber Conference (GRC) and Exhibition will be held in Colombo from 27 to 30 October.

The GRC, formerly held as the Asean Rubber Conference until 2010, has been held in Cambodia (2011), Vietnam (2012) and Indonesia (2013) so far, while Sri Lanka will be hosting it for the first time with over 700 trade visitors and 28 countries set to participate.

The event, co-organised by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Confexhub, will be themed Sowing the Seeds of Sustainable Future . The Ministry of Plantation Industries and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce have extended their support for the event as well.

Sri Lanka-China FTA deal during Chinese President’s visit next month

Sunday Times - 31-08-2014

Sri Lanka will be launching its Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China making the biggest leap forward in relations between the two countries in more than 60 years, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the island next month, official sources revealed.

Mr. Xi will be accompanied by a 150-member top level delegation including senior officials, billionaire businessmen industrialists and investors.

The Chinese leader will become the first President to visit Sri Lanka since former leader Li Xiannian in 1986. His visit assumes significance in strengthening ties between the two countries, with China investing heavily in the island nation, the sources said. The joint feasibility study on the FTA has been finalised and negotiations on formulating the agreement including the negative list are underway between officials of the departments of commerce between the two countries, a senior government official told Business Times.

Rubber Industry Facing Great Challenges

The Sunday Leader - 31/08/2014
By Roy Silva

The rubber industry is facing great challenges from an increasingly competitive global market, said Dr Abdul Aziz, Secretary General of International Rubber Research and Development Board (IRRDB) and also the Chairman of Confexhub Malaysia on Thursday in Colombo.

Announcing the Global Rubber Conference to be held in Sri Lanka in October, he said that in the past few years, many other commodities had surpassed the rubber industry and therefore, it was imperative for the rubber industry to gear up and meet those challenges. The 4th Global Rubber Conference (GRC 2014), one of the world’s leading conferences on rubber sector, is to be held in Colombo from October 27 to 30.

World Export Development Forum 2014 to be held in Africa for the first time

The forum is slated to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 16-17 September, under the theme SMEs: Creating jobs through trade.

The World Export Development Forum (WEDF), a flagship event of the International Trade Centre (ITC), is bringing its 14th edition to Africa, with a dedicated focus on entrepreneurs.

Dedicated to supporting trade-led inclusive and sustainable development, the forum will be held in Africa for the first time, and is slated to take place in Kigali, Rwanda on 16-17 September, under the theme SMEs: Creating jobs through trade.

Besides, participants at the 14th World Export Development Forum (WEDF) will have the opportunity to hear expert views from entrepreneurs, policymakers and representatives of trade support institutions on how both new technology and traditional sectors can help promote growth.

Lankan biz throng first Seychelles forum in Colombo

Asian Tribune - 27/08/2014

Pierre Laporte (Minister for Finance, Trade and Investment of Seychelles-second from right) gifts a ‘Coco de mer’ sea coconut prevalent only in Seychelles to Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka-second from left) on 27 August in Colombo as Bandula Egodage (Chairman & CEO-EDB-far left) and Waven William (Seychelles Ambassador to Sri Lanka-far right) look on.
No less than 130 reps from 125 Lankan firms thronged the first bilateral B2B call between Sri Lanka and Seychelles biz ever to be held in Colombo on 27 August. “Today’s event can be a stepping stone for more bilateral trade between both countries, which is an urgent need at this moment. The total bilateral trade has been low at only $3.7 Mn. Today’s initiative therefore is a major step in this direction” said Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) on 27 August in Colombo.

High level ‘Nam push for Lanka investments

Asian Tribune - 25/08/2014

The Government of Vietnam, while unravelling Lankan investment volumes within its borders, signalled on 22 August of its own investment push towards Sri Lanka-and coming from its high levels. “Already 10 Sri Lankan investment projects are in Vietnam. Vietnam investors and businesses too are eager to go out of the country and invest.

I hope the Government of Sri Lanka would create an enabling environment for Vietnamese business and investors” said a keen Pham Binh Minh (the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister who is also the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam) on 21 August in Hanoi.

Historic Lanka-Vietnam trade link established in Hanoi

Asian Tribune - 22/08/2014

Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce–right) appreciates the souvenir gift from the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Vietnam Vu Huy Hoang (centre) at the Head Quarters of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, in Hanoi.
The first ever Sri Lanka Vietnam official trade mechanism went live in Hanoi on 21 August. And the new mechanism, according to the Vietnamese side, is the practical way for bigger trade cooperation in the form of an Agreement.

“Today’s new beginning will open many new opportunities for both countries. I am fully convinced that setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) or Joint Trade Sub Committee, would lay a concrete foundation to enhance the existing bilateral trade and economic relations new heights. My Ministry would closely monitor the progress” said n Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka) at the Head Quarters of Ministry of Industry and Trade of Vietnam, Hanoi on 21 August.